Did you tell unsupportive family members about your homebirth plans? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-07-2002, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We haven't told my family yet of my homebirthing plans because I KNOW my mother will freak out (the subject has come up - just never that I might do it). I hate lying about it, but on the other hand, i don't know if I want to spend the last three months of my pregnancy stressed because my mother is upset. I'm curious what other people have done in a similar situation? (and if you didn't tell them beforehand - how mad were they after the birth when they found out?)
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#2 of 15 Old 03-07-2002, 02:58 PM
 
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I'm in a similar situation. I'm not telling my parents because I know they would freak out and I don't want to deal with it. I need to stay relaxed and confident (it is my first babe). I plan on telling them after the birth that we had a wonderful natural birth at home, mom and babe are doing great, and we'd love to have them come over and meet the babe. My parents are worried enough that I'm pregnant--they think that it is a very dangerous condition! You can't even believe the negative things my father has said to me. I finally told him I couldn't listen to anymore, he acted like I was going to die.

Anyway, if they say anything about it after the birth, I'm just going to say that I didn't want to worry them. On the other hand, dh has told anybody and everybody (including my MIL) because he is so excited about it! They have been told to keep it to themselves. I don't like being deceptive but I need to think of what's best for me and babe right now. My parents assume I will be at a hospital and I don't correct that assumption. If i were asked if I was birthing at home I'd be honest, but I don't think that even crosses their mind.
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#3 of 15 Old 03-08-2002, 12:56 AM
 
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We are somewhat lucky in that none of our family lives in this state. We decided to tell his parents, my mom and my brother. On a need to know basis my dad and other family members don't need to know and my sister would wig out! She is 7 years older, doesn't have any children and isn't having any - she holds doctors in the highest regard and freaked out when she found out I was using a midwife. She said "You need to know that I disagree with this" I said that is ok you can disagree but I have thought long and hard and done a great deal of research. Her response was to keep doing more research until I came up with the RIGHT answer! I plan on the announcements stating that babe was born at home into his or her fathers hands so she will find out then.:
Keri
6/14/02

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#4 of 15 Old 03-08-2002, 02:06 AM
 
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I have nosey family. They found out right away. They already though I was a freak though. My mom freaked out the worst. She was so funny. After I told her we were doing it at home she asks "Well, if it is a boy you will at least take him to the hospital for the circumcisoin?" Want to know a fast way to get your parents to forget about your decision to have a home birth? Tell them you won't be circumsizing and they'll forget all about it
good luck!

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#5 of 15 Old 03-09-2002, 09:36 AM
 
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I told my mom because she asked specifically about where we were planning to birth the babe and I am a terrible liar. We did a few go-arounds. It gave me the opportunity to spell out my reasons and I wrote a letter that really explains why we are doing this. I have been working on building a new relationship with my mother for the last few years: a relationship where she understands that I'm an adult who makes up her own mind about things---we are still working on it, but I guess I see this as just one more situation in a long line of life events where we have the opportunity to either make things slowly better or continue the negative cycle where I sacrifice myself and my ideals to make them happy. But I strongly support anybody who chooses not to tell unhelpful family members. This is such a tender time. And it's definitely not easy to "tune out" or shut-up my mother, even when she gets into her bag of birth horror stories.

Now you really want to get them all riled up, tell them you are not only doing it at home and not circumsizing, but that you don't plan to have any health care practitioners there at all. My mom is now begging me to hire a midwife, not get to the hospital. Interesting change.
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#6 of 15 Old 03-11-2002, 02:12 PM
 
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My dh's family was sot of passive unsupportive. We let the word leak to one of his sisters and didnt hear anything from them for months. Then when I was about 8 months along we mentioned maybe having one of them watch Serra when I was in labor and we said "YOu know we are having a homebirth , right?' They saidthey were very against it and that it was so scary but the conversation didnt go much farther. Then a couple of weeks later my husbands three sisters sat us down to tell us how scared they all were.: They told us his mom was so worried she was losing sleep and just a basic guilt trip. They quizzed us on why we were doing it and tried to convince us that hospitals were great and then asked me to make a notarized statement that said I had chosen to have a homebirth in case I died so no one would try to take the kids from dh. : : It really angered me and got me really sad which I didn't need just weeks before my due date. Well, I just surrounded myself with positive vibes after that and tried to forget it. I did get over it and had a wonderful birth but it was stress I didn't need. If i could do it again I think I would keep it a secret until after...if I could.
Do what you think. You need to consider your needs right now, not theirs. Let them get mad at you af terward when you are on the new baby high. And make sure whenever you do tell them that you have dh or somebody to help you stand your ground and be firm. Don't take anything from them. Good luck to you!
Beth
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#7 of 15 Old 03-12-2002, 01:33 AM
 
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No one has ever said anything negatice to us after the birth and they saw howhealty and happy and "up and about" i was. They were really impressed by the up and about part.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#8 of 15 Old 03-12-2002, 02:18 AM
 
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I would not tell them unless you did not need their support.

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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#9 of 15 Old 03-15-2002, 05:03 PM
 
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My family knew that we were planning on a water birth at a birth center for our dd. They gave us a hard time about it, but eventually they got over it. When we found out that my dd had died, I had to go to the hospital to be induced. I hated every minute of it. They try to convince me that the hospital wasn't that bad, but it's not going to work.

They have known since we decided to get pregnant again that our new baby will be born at home. Before I was pregnant, all they did was complain about it. I have repeatedly told them that I am not sick and I am not high risk. It is perfectly safe to birth at home.

I have heard all sorts of things from them such as 'birth is dangerous', 'don't you want to be in the hospital where you know for sure that everything is safe?', 'what if something goes wrong?'. The worst thing I've heard is probably, 'I bet if you got cancer, you'd probably be one of those people who dies from not getting treatment because you want to try herbs instead.' Hmmm....birth=dying of cancer?: Don't know what that has to do with anything, but ok.

I finally told them that I have spent the last year reading and researching everything I could about homebirth and natural birth. I told them that when they are willing to do the research to the extent that I have that I will be willing to listen to them tell me why its a bad idea. I also told them that if they can't support me 100% then they will not be welcome at our child's birth. That shut them up.

Now they have a problem with the fact that we won't circ. It's always something with them. God forbid they actually make an effort to educate themselves.:
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#10 of 15 Old 03-16-2002, 09:13 PM
 
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I think Andrew's comment is really interesting--it has been very difficult for my family to be "supportive" in any way when they know that our choices for the birth are different from what they want. I've never been a very emotionally needy person but I guess I assumed that since this was the first grandbaby, there'd be a bit more interest in how things are going. I get the cursory questions about how I'm feeling and then the questions/challenges about the safety of homebirth or now that we've resolved most of that, there's very little discussion of the baby at all. I almost wish I hadn't said anything about our plans so I could have had all the motherly support I feel like I'm not getting because now my mom is avoiding the subject all together. But that would have been false and I'm no good at that.

Violet
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#11 of 15 Old 03-17-2002, 11:29 PM
 
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Hi Karen - I really feel for you.
I am also planning a homebirth but recently had to go to the hospital when they asked me who my dr. was I gave them the name of my MW's back-up which technically is not a lie, then when they asked where I was delivering I told them I was just 3 miles away from so and so hospital. They assumed I would deliver there and I didn't have to lie. Since you have SIL's that are familiar with the area and probably know the hospitals well they will probably be more direct. This is a decision you have to make - whether you want to lie or not. You could always say - we'll see, we haven't decided yet or why do you ask?
It's really none of their business. I wish you all the best and hope that this does not create too much stress for you.
Keri
edd 6/14/02

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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#12 of 15 Old 03-19-2002, 12:08 AM
 
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Yes, I did. Whenever they'd question me or start "freaking out", I'd quickly babble off every stat and statistic, every piece of research, regarding the safety of home vs. hospital birth that they quickly shut up -- NOT because I changed their minds, but because they just got sick of hearing it!!! Also, everyone that knows me knows I am very strong-willed, and I have no problem telling people where to go if they give me crap. So most of them didn't.
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#13 of 15 Old 03-19-2002, 01:02 PM
 
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Maybe I have it a little easier because I honestly did try to have a hospital birth because dh was so afraid of homebirth. About three weeks ago, I chickened out and we're having a homebirth. Dh is reluctant but determined to be supportive. I feel much, much better!

Anyway, most of the family has already been told my doctor's name and the name of the hospital, so I've been free to share the news with those I want to and not with those I don't. If anyone I wasn't planning to tell asks point blank, I won't lie. I think I've decided to say, "I did plan on a hospital birth, but I finally decided that I just couldn't take the risk." In _Your Baby, Your Way_, Sheila Kitzinger cites a perinatal mortality rate for planned homebirths as half or less than half of the death rate in hospital births. In _Homebirth_, she breaks the stats down into low, medium and high risk, and even the high risk outcomes are better at home, but I'm not sure how transfers to the hospital are calculated in these figures. I don't plan to argue the stats because most people don't want to hear it; they want to think that homebirth is dangerous without considering any evidence, so why bother?

For more distant relatives, friends and acquaintances I'm working on non-commital statements like, "I'm all packed and ready to go..."

Good luck,
Sarah
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#14 of 15 Old 03-19-2002, 01:05 PM
 
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KareninCt, I'm reading your last post to mean that your family would show up at the hospital before the birth? If that's the case, and you don't want them there, why not wait until after the baby is born to tell them. I would have killed anyone who turned up uninvited at my births.

I never lied. If anyone ever asked me I would tell them the truth - at home. We have no family closer than Europe, so that's not an issue, but we got more negative comments from acquaintinces than we did from friends. Just don't get into an arguement - and don't tell anyone when you go into labour unless they are supportive.

I've had people tell me that they would be too scared to have a homebirth. I always tell them that I'm too scared to have a hospital birth. That shuts them up!!
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#15 of 15 Old 03-19-2002, 04:01 PM
 
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I told anyone who asked I was planning to birth at home. My family was all on the other side of the continent so all they could do if they disapproved was pester me by phone and I have an answering machine. Turns out most everyone thought it was pretty cool (or kept their mouths shut!).

kerokadi, it sounds like you have perfected the art of the 'non-answer'! Good for you. Another thing you can say to hold people off is to make it sound like you are still shopping for a birth location. People can relate to comparison shopping... "Well, General has a good reputation of course but I have also heard some great things about Birth Center...." and you just sort of let your voice trail off, Maybe make a comment about scheduled tours. If nothing else it will probably hold them for a few weeks.
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